Israel Suffers Under Searing Heat Wave

Temperatures at highest in 10 years, but heat wave expected to break and give way to rain by the weekend

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Israel on Wednesday suffered the most intense heat wave to hit the country in over a decade. Temperatures ranged from 37ºC (98.6ºF) in Jerusalem to a sizzling 46ºC (114.8ºF) at the Dead Sea. The populous coastal plain was sweating with temperatures hitting between 42ºC (107ºF) to 44ºC (111ºF).

Unsurprisingly, the dry and hot weather resulted in not a few fires, one of which destroyed three houses in Tel Mond, not far from the coastal town of Netanya. A large forest fire blazed just outside Beit Shemesh in the hills west of Jerusalem.

The sweltering conditions delayed air traffic at Ben Gurion Airport, and Israel Railway officials ordered all passenger trains to keep their speeds below 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph).

Fortunately, the heat wave was forecast to break overnight with temperature falling slightly on Thursday and light rain predicted on Friday.

PHOTO: Israeli children cool themselves in a public fountain in Jerusalem.

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